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Cervical Fusion and difficulty swallowing

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had my first cervical fusion in 1995 at C5-6. In 2002 I had C4-5 fused with a plate. In March of 2007 the plate was removed and C3-4 was fused with a plate. A few months after this I began having difficulty getting food swallowed. I have a stricture at the base of my esophagus that was being dilated every 3 months or so. Now I have trouble at the top of my esophagus and I had a swallow test that showed food not getting past the plate. I was told to eat a liquid diet. I am a three time cancer survivor and have taken my share of medication. Now I am getting my throat dilated every 5 weeks. The last time I had gastritis, esophagitis, and duodenitis. I had a 3d CAT scan done and it showed C3-6 (fused and/or plated) has slipped 20% into the esophagus off of C7. If any one knows of any thing that can be done please respond. I am 47 years old and so tired. I am 5 ft 6 inches tall and just make 100 pounds.


  • Hi Bushman,

    I have to say that this is a new one on me. Have you been back to see your neurosurgeon that did the ACDF? Perhaps, if you are fully fused, the plate can be removed, making room once again in your throat. It sounds like that won't solve all your problems but sure wouldn't hurt at this point.

    I'm sorry to hear all the troubles that you've had to endure. I hope someone can come along with another suggestion for you. There is a lot of support here so even if we can't help you medically we can rally for you.

  • ihave seen a few people on here saying that they had the hardware taken out later on because of problems ,hopefully your fully fused and really don't need the hardware anymore
  • That can't be fun! At barely 100 pounds you need to be out eating at an all you can eat place like Chuck-Wagon.

    About 2 months post op after my first ACDF, I started feeling my plate and having a "choking" feeling when I would bend my neck a certain way or swallow certain foods. It didn't actually get stuck, just felt strange. Barium swallow test came back normal, so they said nothing could be done for me.

    Fast forward to May of this year. I had a revision done, which included removal of the old hardware and putting in new. I had a bunch of scar tissue built up and that is what was causing me to feel something there. Maybe you just have some extra scar tissue getting in the way and they could trim this away. I know that surgery causes more scar tissue, but it does sound like you need something done.

    what are the doctors suggesting, other than eating a liquid diet? If they are not offering you solutions, please seek a 2nd or 3rd opinion. I wish you the best, and welcome to spine-health.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
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